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Sometimes it’s nice to be far from the madding crowd, but if I’m honest, I actually enjoy the giddy hustle and bustle of a pattern that everybody and their dog is knitting.

I’m often late to join the parade.

In the joyful second line that is Ysolda Teague’s Musselburgh, I’m definitely not the last, but at project number 23,088 on Ravelry, I’m in the back of the pack. Huge as that number is, I don’t think it begins to capture the love that knitters have for this pattern. Musselburgh cries out to be knit in multiples. It has a lot going for it.

First and foremost, it’s an excellent hat. Double thick because of its tubular, two-ended construction—you’re making a hat within a hat. Reversible, again because of its construction—you can turn it inside out.

You can knit it in different yarn weights—the pattern has worked all the gauge math out for you, elegantly.

And finally, it’s an excellent vehicle for smushing a jumble of scraps and bits into a truly fetching topper.

It can be worn as a beanie/toque with the cuff folded up (if you’re keeping track, that makes for four layers of wool around the ears), or as more of a slouch hat—so it works for different hair styles.

The best part? No swatch required to get a hat that fits. You get started and measure your gauge early in the hat, and clear instructions tell you how to proceed to get the right size of hat, from baby to large adult.

So what took me so long? After all, Sue Carney organized a worldwide knitalong for Musselburgh recently, and I didn’t bite.

Then last week I saw Katherine Everett’s version using leftover bits of MDK Atlas.

Katherine’s Musselburgh: A tube with two crowns, in MDK Atlas. How does this melon turn into a hat?

Like this! You slip one crown up inside the other, Fold the brim, and voilà: cozy hat.

It’s reversible—two hats in one! And if you don’t fold up the cuff, you get two more looks. Knitting is magic.

Isn’t it a beauty? The cushiness of two (or four!) layers of wool, the fun of seeing the Atlas palette at play—and then the kicker: I have a bag full of Atlas remnants from the many projects we’ve made with it over the last few years.

So it’s not just a cool hat, it’s a free hat. And making it with scraps counts as tidying up!

As this post lands, Ann and I are in Chicago, hobnobbing with yarnmakers, shop owners, and designers and scoping out fun new things for MDK. A tube of stockinette, with no shaping now until I get to the second crown—is a perfect take-along project for meetings where not only is knitting is allowed, it’s weird if you’re not knitting.

When I get home tonight, I predict I’ll have finished my second Musselburgh. I also predict it will not be my last.

P.S. I love the low-vision version that is included with purchase of Musselburgh. Big type is the best!

Photos courtesy of Katherine Everett. thank you!


  • I’ve seen this but haven’t joined the party yet, now I may have another rabbit hole. Thanks, Kay… I bet it would look fantastic in Spincycle scraps. And we are going on a 2 week vacation at the end of this month; perfect airplane knitting! (Although we won’t need a winter hat in El Salvador!)

    • El Salvador…interesting place. Is it a vacation?

      • Yes, that’s where my husband is from and many of his family still live there. It’s beautiful, but I probably wouldn’t want to live there – I like my modern conveniences like a washing machine and an electric stove. *grin* They cook over an open fire still, although at least they finally have indoor plumbing. The first time I went, they still had an outhouse! The people are wonderful, I wish we could afford to visit more often. And they have black sand beaches because of the volcanoes.

    • Karen, I can assure you that it does indeed look fantastic in Dyed in the Wool scraps! I wish I could attach the photo!

  • Funny, I just also discovered the Musselburgh hat and cast on before leaving (Chicago!) for a multi-week trip. I’m using one of my single skeins of hand-dyed fingering yarn that one never knows what to do with after buying on a previous trip to a far-flung land. It’s perfect for a Musselburgh!

  • oh my! my great-mother knitted those hats with remnants from sweaters, circa 1967-1968… I was 10.

  • Thank you for your inspiration! Happy Travels:) Cannot wait to see what you have discovered to share with all.

  • Love this, of course! When I read the title in my mail I was expecting to see the chicken. That Sue Carney usually has her finger on the pulse.

  • I love this hat! I am on my third one. I will try the next one in Atlas scraps and send it up to NYC to keep family members heads warm. Ysolda’s new videos are great!

  • I haven’t jumped in yet either but I love the idea for using scraps, and easy gifts.

  • I’ve made three so far. It’s also a great pattern for that gradient yarn you bought without a pattern in mind. Shows off all the colors beautifully!

  • I recently joined the Musselburgh party too! I am creating my first one with a selection of scraps from a 2023 Advent box. It is turning out beautifully and it will definitely not be my last Musselburgh.

  • I’ve had this pattern for a long time, but have never cast one on…this is the push I needed! Thank you! I’m trying to use up stash this year, so this will be a great stash buster!!!!

  • I’ve knit 3 musselburghs that aren’t on Rav. Such a perfect pattern. I love that it works for every yarn. Though with a bulky, I might skip the second half.

  • These are similar to the Swedish Dubbelmossa. I made several of these many years ago. Thank you for the memory. Guess I’ll have to try making a few more as gifts.

  • Just bought the pattern. Will make one for my sweetie this year.

  • Perfect! I love to knit hats and confess I never heard of this one. It’s a winner in multiple ways. Thank you.

  • The inclusion of a low-vision version is a true winner!
    It would be fantastic if all patterns had this feature.

  • The universe works in mysterious ways. I just watched Ysolda’s video yesterday and decided that I would buy the pattern…and now this! Thank you Kay, for the additional inspiration to actually do it now!

  • Just finished my second Musselburgh with plans to make more. I like the pattern so much that I’ve bought yarn specifically for knitting it. I love the fabric created with sock weight yarn on US size 1 needles. It takes me a while, but I love the result. Perfect gift!

    • You get a really warm hat using Atlas!

  • I have knit many of these hats on my knitting machines, starting back around 2010. I even worked out a sideways knit version. I can’t imagine handknitting all that plain stockinette stitch!
    There’s something so classic about a simple hat!

  • Can you tel me how much Atlas yarn I would need for the Musselburgh reversable hat ?
    And what size needles you used.

    • I used size 6 needles, getting 5.5 stitches per inch. I don’t know exactly how much yarn used – 150 grams?

  • Can the Musselburgh hat be made with Rowan felted tweed scraps?

    • Yes!

  • Well I did not think I needed one more project but what was I thinking. I must have looked at the first 10 pages of 607 when I decided I had to download this and get started.

  • Interesting that you decided to write about this. This hat has been the subject of numerous uTube articles lately. This is the first that I have seen of one in assorted stripes. I love it and need to check my boxes of yarn and knit one or more. I guess that I could also dye some self striping yarn for one, too. Maybe knit a hat tube on my Addi circular. So many possibilities. Fun.

  • I was completely baffled by the Musselburgh hat phenom on Ravelry. Looked like an ordinary slouchy hat to me. Since I’m rarely on IG I didn’t know the whole story. Thanks Kay for the background and inspo. Will have to jump on the bandwagon at some point to use up scraps. Although if New England keeps warming at the rate we’ve been doing, not sure even I will need a hat that warm….

  • I really like it in the striped worsted Atlas. I had heard warnings that it would be too thick with four layers but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Glad I bought the pattern! I couldn’t see me doing all that fingering-weight knitting.

  • I’m currently knitting my sixth Musselburgh hat…using DK yarn. Among the many I have knit, I’ve knit a scrappy hat using leftover sock yarn from all the yarns I used to knit my son’s socks over the years. They make a great gift for knit-worthy recipients, but I usually include instructions on how to use it and style it.

  • I loved knitting my Musselburgh and I’ve been jonesing to knit my second ever since! It is one of those projects that is so addicting like knitting Susan Claudino’s Bonbon Bunny, it’s hard to knit just one. I will knit another Musselburgh it’s been ion my mind lately since Ysolda updated the pattern. She also has a great video tutorials supporting the pattern on her YouTube channel.

    • Oh, I just realized that I’m actually wearing my Musselburgh in my profile picture on this platform!

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